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Major Subfield Course Groupings

This is a rough classification that might be useful for students as a guide to the kinds of courses within the discipline of political science.  Some of our courses logically belong in multiple fields or subfields, and are listed that way. 

U.S. Politics:

This field involves four main types of courses.  Students might want to focus on one dimension, or make a point of seeing U.S. politics and government from multiple perspectives.

 

            Institutions which exercise formal authority – the governing structure

            POSC 301: Decision-making in American Cities

            POSC 302: State Politics and Policy

            POSC 308: The American Presidency

            POSC 310: The Legislative Process

            POSC 323: Judicial Politics

            POSC 385: U.S. Bureaucratic Politics

 

            Intermediary Institutions – the processes of political influence

            POSC 306: Interest Groups in the Policy Process

            POSC 319: Politics and Money

            POSC 321: News Media and Politics

            POSC 322: Political Movements and Political Participation

            POSC 341: Elections, Voters, and Political Parties

            POSC 342: Public Opinion and American Democracy

 

            Constitutional Law

            POSC 325: American Constitutional Law

            POSC 327: Civil Liberties in America

            POSC 328: Topics in Civil Liberties

 

            Policy-making and policy results

            POSC 365: Science, Technology and Government

            POSC 370F: Financial Politics in the United States and the World

            POSC 370G: U.S. Intelligence and National Security

            POSC 376: United States Foreign Policy

            POSC 382A: Child Policy

            POSC 383: Health Policy and Politics in the United States

            POSC 386: Making Public Policy

 

            Other Courses related to U.S. politics

            POSC 346: Women and Politics

            POSC 352: American Political Thought

            POSC 358: Political Strategy

            POSC 370C: The United States and Asia

            POSC 381: City as Classroom

            POSC 389: Special Topics in American Politics and Policy

 

Comparative Politics:

This field includes both overarching themes, and studies of particular areas.  It makes sense to use the area studies as case studies for applying what students learn about themes.

 

            Thematic Topics

            POSC 322: Political Movements and Political Participation

            POSC 326: Constitutions in Practical Politics

            POSC 334: Violence and the Political System

            POSC 346: Women and Politics

            POSC 356: Transitions to Democracy and Dictatorship

            POSC 360: Revolts and Revolutions in Global Perspective.

            POSC 361: State-Building and State Collapse

            POSC 363: Comparative Analysis of Elections and Electoral Systems

            POSC 370K: Nationalism, Ethnicity and Religion in World Politics

            POSC 374: Politics of Development in the Global South

            POSC 375: The International Politics of Technology

            POSC 391: Special Topics in Comparative Politics

 

            Area Studies

            POSC 353: Political Thought and Political Change in China

            POSC 362: Politics of Central Asia

            POSC 364: Dictatorship and Democracy in Latin America

            POSC 366: Government and Politics of Africa

            POSC 367: Western European Political Systems

            POSC 369: Ethnicity, Gender and Religion in Latin American Politics and Society

            POSC 370D: The Politics of China

            POSC 370H: China’s Foreign Policy

            POSC 373: Politics of the European Union

            POSC 377: Politics of Russia

            POSC 379: Introduction to Middle East Politics

            POSC 380: State and War in Africa and the Middle East

 

International Relations:

This field includes, at a minimum, subfields focusing on economics (international political economy), on conflict among nations, and forms of governance separate from or at last skew to the system of nation-states. The importance of nation-states and of international organizations are core issues, so a student might well want to look at all three kinds of courses.

 

            Political Economy

            POSC 370A: Political Economy

            POSC 370F: Financial Politics in the United States and the World

            POSC 370M: Theories of Political Economy

            POSC371: Natural Resources and World Politics

            POSC 374: Politics of Development in the Global South

            POSC 375: International Politics of Technology

 

            Conflict and Cooperation among states

            POSC 334: Violence and the Political System

            POSC 370C: The United States and Asia

            POSC 370G: U.S. Politics and National Security

            POSC 370H: China’s Foreign Policy

            POSC 370J: International Law and Organizations

            POSC 370K: Nationalism, Ethnicity and Religion in World Politics

            POSC 371: Natural Resources and World Politics

            POSC 373: Politics of the European Union

            POSC 378: International Relations Theory

 

            Non-state processes and theoretical perspectives

            POSC 370J: International Law and Organizations

            POSC 372: Activism Beyond Borders: NGOs and International Advocacy

            POSC 373: Politics of the European Union

            POSC 378: International Relations Theory

            POSC 388: Global Environmental Politics

            POSC 390: Special Topics in International Relations

 

Public Policy:

These courses focus especially either on perspectives about how policy is made, which is an alternative way to think about political processes, or information about particular fields of policy.

 

            POSC 306: Interest Groups in the Policy Process

            POSC 342: Water

            POSC 370F: Financial Politics in the United States and the World

            POSC 370G: U.S. Intelligence and National Security

            POSC 375: The International Politics of Technology

            POSC 376: U.S. Foreign Policy

            POSC 382A: Child Policy

            POSC 383: Health Policy and Politics in the United States

            POSC 384: Ethics and Public Policy

            POSC 386: Making Public Policy

            POSC 388: Politics, Policy, and the Global Environment

 

Political Thought, Methods, and Cross-cutting Topics:

A variety of courses include what is traditionally called “political thought” as well as what are sometimes called “scope and methods.”  There are also a few courses that apply to all of politics, at least potentially.

 

            POSC 319: Politics and Money

            POSC 334: Violence and the Political System

            POSC 348: History of Modern Political and Social Thought

            POSC 349: Political Science Research Methods

            POSC 351: Modern Political Thought

            POSC 352: American Political Thought

            POSC 353: Political Thought and Political Change in China

            POSC 354: Political and Social Philosophy

            POSC 355: Modern Political Ideologies

            POSC 357: Democratic Politics: Theory and Practice

            POSC 358: Political Strategy

            POSC 370M: Theories of Political Economy

            POSC 384: Ethics and Public Policy

 

Page last modified: March 2, 2015